New Delhi: The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman answered the critics of her maiden Budget and said every estimate in the Budget 2019-20 was “realistic” and investments lay foundation for nearly doubling size of the economy to $5 trillion in five years.
Adequate provisions for expenditure particularly for defence, pension and salary and internal security have been provided for with necessary mobilisation of tax and non-tax resources. The Budget is backed with a plan to increase investment without compromising on the fiscal consolidation road map, she added.
“It is not without a plan,”she said on increasing the size of the economy from USD 2.7 trillion to USD 5 trillion by 2024-25 and hit out at Chidambaram, who was not present in the house, for calling it “simple arithmetic” and “magic of compounding”.
While excise collection will boost with Rs.2 per litre increase in tax on petrol and diesel and an amnesty scheme, GST collections will boost by over 14 per cent on simplified return filing and tracking of evasion.
She also hit at Congress for putting obstacles in passing the GST Bill and Rahul Gandhi calling it “Gabbar Singh Tax”.
”Today, the Indian farmer does not have to stand in a queue to buy a bag of fertilizer. With the adoption of the new Minimum Support Policy, all commodities which have been notified have seen a big jump,” she said adding that the measures taken by the government for agriculture is focused not just on a single scheme but on the recovery of the sector as a whole.
The Budget has given a vision, she said. “It is a vision for 10 years with a mid-course target of USD 5 trillion economy we wish to reach. Budget reflects firm commitment to boost investment in agriculture, and social sector particularly healthcare,” she said.
Sitharaman said over the last five years, public sector banks have been recapitalised by Rs 3.19 lakh crore. “NPA problem has been comprehensively addressed by the government.”